Today’s bible study is 1 John 5:11-12: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
This is one of the biggest and most frightening verses in the bible. Just reading it brings fear and awe, making many question their own affinity with the Son of God and bringing doubts about those who have not sought nor found the Son.
The passage begins by saying that God has given us eternal life. We cannot pretend to know what eternal actually means, since it is one of the few indefinable words in our language. Definitions are amorphous and lack clarity. Many of us are familiar with the symbol for eternity which looks much like a figure eight lying sideways. We buy cards that speak of eternal love and read poems that promise eternal bliss, yet it is not definable. Is eternity a second, a minute, an hour? Is it a century or a millennium? Is it anything that can be measured by mankind? It surely seems not.
And where is this eternity promised? Is it the heaven that children’s stories are made of with angels sitting on puffy white clouds playing harps? Is it reunion with loved ones who have gone before us? Is it seeing God face to face and becoming a member of His eternal kingdom? Many theologians and philosophers have tried to answer this question, yet none have a definite answer. It is difficult to define something that we cannot know.
A retired minister once spoke of the hereafter as being too wondrous to even understand. We can comprehend the beauty of a garden, the smile of a baby, the laughter of children, the softness of fleece and the feet of wet grass and sand because these are all small wonders that we know. But what of a wonder that we cannot even imagine? What of something so wondrous that it is beyond and above all human understanding? This is the promise that God makes to us.
How do we get to claim this wondrous eternity? There is only one way, and that is through believing in Jesus Christ, the only Son of God the Father, and having Jesus into our hearts and our minds every second of every day. It is following the path of Jesus, seeking wisdom and guidance from Jesus, asking forgiveness through Jesus and giving thanks in His name. It is in knowing that the only true path to eternal life is the Son of God.
God sent Jesus to earth in human form for many reasons, but the primary reason was to assure us of eternal life. “In my Father’s house there are many mansions,” and one of them is prepared for each of us. Our passing is a natural part of the cycle of life and, when we enter the kingdom of God, we shall be greeted by such wondrous magnificence that we cannot know it in this life.
May we never lose sight of the kingdom of God and the possibility of becoming children of His kingdom in eternal life through Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord. May we hold Jesus in our hearts and minds and worship God through Him in our prayers. May we someday know the glory of the kingdom of God and the magnificent wonder of life eternal through our Lord and Savior.
You might also like to read:
- Broad Brook Bible Study Examiner, Grace Dooley
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- Atlanta Bible Study Examiner, Donna Sundblad
- Kentucky Bible Study Examiner, Timothy Edwards
- Bible Verse of the Day
- Daily Bible Guide
- Growing in Christ
- Bible Study Tools Online
- The Jesus Walk Bible Study Series
A discussion of today’s bible study is encouraged. If you would like to participate, please feel free to write a comment in the space below. There are many different outlooks and interpretations of scripture passages and, the more we share, the more we learn.
Sharon is a member of the Community Church of the Midlands that meets at Seven Oaks Community Center at 200 Leisure Lane in Columbia and is a frequent participant, with her husband Douglas, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral located at 1100 Sumter Street in Columbia.
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